A Jubilee Plea to Use the 999 Service Wisely
30 May 2012
The region's ambulance service is urging people to stay safe over the forthcoming bank holiday break as they are gearing up for what they expect to be one of their busiest weekends of the year.
With many people having four days off work, coupled with celebrations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is anticipating a significant increase in demand for their 999 service.
This has prompted ambulance bosses to appeal for people to take extra care when they are out and about and to use their life-saving service wisely to help ensure that their vital resources are available for those who need them most.
Vince Larvin (pictured right), Locality Director for Emergency Operations in North and East Yorkshire, said the service traditionally sees a sharp rise in calls during bank holidays as more people are out and about and enjoying themselves.
He said: "We are not trying to stop people having a good time or deter them from using our service in a genuine emergency, but to help us ensure we can reach those who need us the most, we simply ask that members of the public look after themselves and others and use our service responsibly.
"Our staff will be working extremely hard this weekend, not only to get to our patients quickly, but to provide an excellent standard of clinical care to those in need of time-critical help such as someone suffering a heart attack or stroke.
"But our resources are not unlimited and more and more often our staff are caught up dealing with people calling 999 with minor illness and injuries such as toothache and earache which may cause a delay in us reaching someone who urgently needs us."
For minor illnesses and injuries members of the public should consider the variety of other healthcare services available to them and for advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions, consider options such as a visit to your local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit a walk-in-centre.
Vince also pointed out that not everyone who dials 999 is sent an ambulance. He said: "Those calling 999 with less serious conditions may be referred to NHS Direct or given advice over the phone by a clinician working within our emergency operations centre. People should also remember that you don't get seen any quicker by arriving at a hospital emergency department in an ambulance."
The service is also asking organisers of street parties, held in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, to consider whether an ambulance vehicle could gain access in an emergency situation and make arrangements to ensure their crews can pass quickly and safely.
Vince continued: "We want to make sure that this weekend is one that people will remember for all the right reasons and, more importantly, that our ambulance crews are available for those who need them most. So please act responsibly and enjoy the weekend's celebrations in the spirit intended."
Produced By: Corporate Communications Department